The ABARES Australian crop report – June 2020 is forecasting a 53 per cent increase in winter crop production in 2020–21, with a 23 per cent jump in the area planted.
Peter Gooday, acting Executive Director of ABARES, said the opening to the winter cropping season in 2020–21 was very favourable, especially in the eastern states and South Australia.
“Winter crop production is forecast be to be 44.5 million tonnes in 2020–21, which is 11 per cent above the 10-year average to 2019–20,” Mr Gooday said.
“Yield prospects in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia are forecast to be above average given favourable levels of soil moisture at the beginning of June and the likelihood of above average rainfall in July.”
This forecast assumes average seasonal conditions in spring because the Bureau of Meteorology outlook for spring is not yet available.
The area planted to winter crops in 2020–21 is forecast to be 22.5 million hectares, which is five per cent above the 10-year average to 2019–20 of 21.4 million hectares.
“The majority of this increase is expected to be in New South Wales, where seasonal conditions so far are much more favourable than during the last two winter crop seasons,” Mr Gooday said.
For the major winter crops, area planted to wheat is forecast to increase by 27 per cent to almost 13 million hectares, eight per cent above the 10-year average to 2019–20 of 12 million hectares.
Area planted to barley is forecast to increase by eight per cent to almost 4.4 million hectares, also eight per cent above the 10-year average to 2019–20.
“Falls in barley prices in early May occurred in the midst of planting but did not significantly change planting intentions in the eastern states with many producers maintaining planned crop rotations.”
Wheat production is forecast to increase by 76 per cent to 26.7 million tonnes, barley is forecast to increase by 17 per cent to 10.6 million tonnes and canola production is forecast to increase by 40 per cent to 3.2 million tonnes.
Amongst other crops, chickpeas production is forecast to increase by 135 per cent to 661,000 tonnes and oats production is forecast to increase by 81 per cent to 1.6 million tonnes.
Mr Gooday said the three-month seasonal outlook (June to August) issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on 4 June 2020 indicates winter rainfall is likely to be above average in most cropping regions in Queensland and New South Wales and around average in most other cropping regions.